by Hope Johnson
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Posts tagged custom wedding stationery
Handwritten Notes

Do whatever you think would be pretty! I like neutrals. 

That's what this bride of mine told me when it was time to plan her wedding stationery. Now granted, this bride is one of my best friends on the earth. Her and I go way back to first grade, where we did not like each other, but nonetheless our friendship has tested time and won. So here I am, bridesmaid/planner/friend/stationery designer. 

Amber and Shane. Shane and Amber. Shamber? No, let's not. These two though are the sweetest example of God's work in the series of waiting for THE ONE. I have never seen this woman smile as much as I have in these last few years. 

I was honored to host a fun holiday themed bridal shower with an Italian menu, since they were planning an Italian honeymoon. It rained. It POURED actually. I was so upset because I had my outdoor area decorated for the holidays, but we couldn't use the space. In turn though, it forced everyone to the porches and house in a beautiful way. The entire day quickly turned to intimate conversations, good food, and traditional southern hospitality. You can see more of that here. In exchange for helping inspire some planning aspects, maybe living vicariously through her, I got to see her wedding dress before all of the other bridesmaids. ...which was a terrible idea because I'm the WORST secret keeper. I told Amber I needed to see it for stationery inspiration, which was a slight fib on my part. I just wanted to see her dress. When I found out Shane was going to propose, I avoided Amber for months.

PS: sorry if you thought I was mad at you

photo by Collin Richie - Baton Rouge

When it was time to plan the wedding, she pretty much let me hold the reins, at least for her stationery. 

THE little BLUE CHAIR - custom stationery _neutral colors_3.jpg
THE little BLUE CHAIR - custom stationery _neutral colors_2.jpg
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THE little BLUE CHAIR - custom stationery _neutral colors_4.jpg

NEUTRALS + FLORALS + VINTAGE STAMPS
...always a winner. 

One of the things I really regret with my own weddings is not writing my own vows. Maybe it's in hindsight, because I know my husband would be full of giggles displaying his emotions up at the alter, but I still wish we would have written them for each other. However, what I do treasure are all of his handwritten notes over the years. I have a sticky note on my computer, the computer I'm typing from now, that says "hey! you are beautiful." 

I adore the moment before a wedding when a bride is reading a note from her groom. Tradition calls that you are not to see your bride or groom on the wedding day. But that note. It's like they're there, right there in your ear, whispering all the words you'd want to hear on such a day.

Handwritten notes are said to be falling in to the dying art category, but OH I disagree. There's a heightened revival of handwritten notes. I believe that this current generation is craving tradition, hoping for intimacy, and longing for the tactile keepsake to fill that hope chest of theirs. In a world of reproductions, quick response time, and energy spread so thin, it's barely seen, having a moment to stop time and read will pause your heart and mind. In this world and for this next generation, we need more and more of that.
 

photo by Collin Richie - Baton Rouge

photo by Collin Richie - Baton Rouge

Margaret Shepherd published the book "The Art of the Handwritten Note: A Guide to Reclaiming Civilized Communication." In her book, she exclaims that the handwritten note is NOT in fact a dying art, that it's alive more than ever. In her introduction, I love how she writes this simple explanation of the power of the handwritten note:


...it certainly is an art, because it brings out the best in both the person who creates it and the person who looks at it.
— The Art of the Handwritten Note: A Guide to Reclaiming Civilized Communication

Could anything be more true? I am that person that keeps EVERYTHING. I have paintings and drawings from my childhood (that my mom thought I should keep at my house) and have started to create a hefty collection of notes and drawings from my own kids. I have every note I've written my husband ...and every one he's left for me. I have notes my great-grandfather sent my great-grandmother. I have handwritten grocery lists from my grandparents. You just can't throw that away. That's gold. I don't see our children's children scrolling through old text messages of their ancestors, reminiscing about these days. Let's leave them something to hold. 

If my dear husband would have texted me the same message I have written on this sticky note, "hey! You are beautiful," I would have smiled, yes, and continued on my day. It's written down now. I see it every day. It's a constant reminder of his most honest and bare heart from the day he wrote that simple little note.

So maybe you're not the express your own vows at the alter type, but that doesn't stop you from getting your message to your loved ones. Leave a sticky note, leave a message in the front seat of your love's vehicle. Leave a written note of encouragement in your spouse's sock drawer. Leave special notes out for your kids. Write more. ..and write ALL the time. It's a practice and an art.  

I guess that's why I love stationery so much. It's sort of like a handwritten note to all of your loves ones that witnessed your big day. I have a boxes and boxes of notes, a boxes of evolving pictures from my little ones, and yes. I have a box of wedding invitations from friends and family. 

What's going to fill your hope chest?

eight questions I asked myself

AN INTERVIEW WITH MYSELF

I had a crazy idea to express my passions and heart behind TLBC through an interview with myself. Although no client will likely ever ask me these questions directly, I still want the answers there. I want my heart open to all of you, I want a real connection between not just my work, but me personally. 

 
 

TELL ME ABOUT WHAT YOU DO. WHAT MAKES YOUR HEART SMILE?
I'm a stationery designer for the creative bride looking for something extra special for her wedding stationery. I love flowers, simplicity, and handmade cotton paper. ...and cookies.

WHAT IS YOUR STRONG POINT?
I have always been creative at heart. The designing and planning comes naturally to me. However, what I love more than anything is connecting the bride to the project. I aim to resonate with each design decision, connecting back to the couple's story, so at the end of the day, the guests open this invitation, that no one has ever seen before, and say "oh this is SO Hope and Michael." 

WHAT DO YOU BELIEVE ABOUT THE WORK YOU DO?
I truly believe that stationery tells a story. One person meets another, they fall in love, the ring is given and the preface to this beautiful marriage begins. No two stories are the same, and if the wedding invitation is the cover to your book, representing the beginning of your marriage, no two covers should be the same.

WHAT IS SOMETHING YOU'D LIKE YOUR BRIDES TO KNOW ABOUT YOUR BUSINESS?
I want my brides to resonate with not just my work, but me personally. I approach each project as an interior designer would approach a blank space. It's a true collaboration. My brides bring as much to the table as I do and by the end of the process, we are going to be great friends. 

IN A WORLD GONE DIGITAL, HOW DO YOU HOLD TRUE TO PRINT?
How can I not? With the world at everyone's fingertips, there are fewer and fewer tactile items filling up your hope chests. From the wedding alone, other than your photographs, the invitation is one of a few things you'll actually preserve. I hope it hangs on your wall as a little reminder as to why you and your spouse chose each other.

WHY SHOULD A BRIDE OPT FOR A CUSTOM DESIGN OVER A PREDESIGNED PIECE?
Custom work simply paints an entirely different picture for you and your guests. For instance, I'm working on a commissioned project for one of my spring brides. She brought me a photo of a marigold painting that hung in her grandmother's home when she was a child. She wanted to incorporate this in the stationery design. Her mother is a florist and will be designing the floral arrangements that will display at her wedding. So of course, florals are a big symbolic element for her design. Another client of mine is an artist and spent her college years making handmade paper using recycled cotton. She is to be wed under the lights of this show-stopper barn in Texas, using her old paper installations as a backdrop to the head table. Her stationery will of course be letterpress printed on handmade, cotton-rag paper with these beautiful deckled edges... You simply cannot manufacturer tailor-made pieces like this.

WHAT DO YOUR CLIENTS FIND IMPORTANT?
My brides are often artists or designers themselves, or formerly one or the other. I frequently work with brides that, back in college, majored in printmaking ...or the interior designer that is overflown with ideas, but needs help putting them together. My brides definitely get it. They get that each element of the design has to have a viable intention. 

WHAT'S YOUR IDEAL DESIGN?
My design style is very organic, very simple actually. I love a single color letterpress print run on cotton paper. It's the pop I look for, that little something extra--a splash of watercolor across the names, incorporating hand lettering or illustrative artwork... I adore the final touches of assembly; wrapping all of your pieces in cotton twine with a sprig of eucalyptus tied in, a hand addressed envelope with vintage stamps ...those are the things that make my heart sing. 


Are we a match? Are you reading all of this saying "YES!, That's what I've been looking for." Well then nice to meet you. See, I adore working with that inner artist in you. That's what I like to bring out in my brides. If your heart melt when you pick up a piece of silk ribbon, if you feel like you need to squeal when your fingertips meet the texture of handmade cotton rag paper ...well I look forward to hearing from you! We're going to be great friends.

 
 
WEDDING STATIONERY | rustic barn wedding for the mississippi bride & louisiana groom

What a pleasure it's been to work with Ashley King (future Caruso), future lawyer and sweetest person alive. Growing up in Mississippi, she was surrounded by cotton fields and southern landscapes that would make anyone's soul feel warm. It's no surprise that she fell in love with Blake, a Louisiana boy, who is as easy going as the cotton field winds she grew up around!

Ashley and Blake wanted a simple save the date and a coordinating wedding invitation. Recycled kraft paper was a must for her, so I knew this would be a breeze for me. Recycled kraft paper and I are best friends. 

Ashley's save the dates were letterpress printed in a dark charcoal ink on recycled kraft!

The wedding invitations were printed on a cotton paper (how appropriate) paired with the same recycled policy envelope as the save the dates. The ink matched the envelopes and all together, these two pieces are the sweetest and simplest duo my eyes have ever seen.

Another great thing I love about these invitations is the way we incorporated Blake and Ashley's wedding website as their rsvp option. Many brides opt out of having a response card simply for the reason that they're not always returned. Wedding websites are becoming more and more popular as a way to have readily accessible information in regards to the wedding, rsvp included. For a non-traditional wedding stationery ensemble, this is the perfect way to include the extra information without the extra pieces. 

I am so happy to be a guest at this wedding this upcoming January. My husband and I are great friends with the groom, and now we get to grow our relationship with Ashley. Their love is as amazing as the rustic barn they will wed at, in the strawberry fields of Louisiana and I just cannot wait to witness the atmosphere and joining of the Mississippi bride and Louisiana groom. 


 
 
WEDDING STATIONERY | the right way to do glitter | louisiana wedding

Blake and Lauren. Blake and Lauren have been a couple for as long as my husband and I. Graduating from the same high school, marrying our high school sweethearts ...a common small town love story. 

I've curated lots of work for Lauren's hosted parties over the years, so when her and Blake became engaged, I was over the moon to work together on her biggest hosted event yet! After our initial chat, I knew she'd want to pair simplicity with a little something extra. 

One of the first sentences out of her mouth: "I think I want to add some bling." My initial thought was to tell her she was crazy, but I knew we could do this right. There is certainly a tasteful way to incorporate shimmer and shine.

Lauren and Blake are having a traditional Catholic wedding mass and wanted the stationery to reflect the formalness of the church ceremony. The design was based around a subtle boldness, two opposite words that complimented each other so well through out each wedding piece that completed this suite.

BLACK, BLUSH, AND SHIMMER

The black text was balanced with luxe blush pink and soft white envelopes. ...the shimmer was just the perfect icing on the cake. The invitations and response cards were letterpress printed on cotton paper. The envelopes looked luscious with a shimmer envelope liner that really made the piece pop. All wrapped up with a letterpress printed seal mounted on a black band, this suite was complete.

Lauren's wedding shower invitations were the preface to the wedding stationery. A softer grey and a touch of floral gave Lauren's guests a visual sneak peek to the wedding stationery that was soon to come. Then, the programs added the appropriate accessory pieces to really finalize this whole "black, blush, and shimmer" wedding stationery suite.  

Wishing the future Huvals the happiest of all wedding days this weekend. I'm sure the wedding will sparkle as much as the sweet couple and their stationery. All my love to these two!

xx,
Hope Johnson